The importance of the proxemic environment in psychotherapy. Neurobiological premises
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Pracownia Neuropedagogiki Stosowanej, Instytut Nauk Pedagogicznych, Uniwersytet Opolski
Submission date: 2018-04-19
Final revision date: 2018-06-24
Acceptance date: 2018-07-03
Publication date: 2018-08-29
Corresponding author
Wiesław Sikorski   

Uniwersytet Opolski, Nysa, Ul. Chodowieckiego 4, 48-300 Nysa, Polska
Psychoter 2018;185(2):89-105
The publication attempts to determine the impact of various elements of proxemics (physical environment) on the course of psychotherapy, especially on the communication between the therapist and the patient. The focus is primarily on such dimensions of proxemics as the physical distance, the decor of the therapeutic room and the arrangement of seats at tables of different shapes. The author justifies the need to show greater care for proxemic communication in a therapeutic relationship based on the latest knowledge in the field of neurobiology. The author presents ways of creating and monitoring (“mapping”) the physical environment of the office or rooms for conducting psychotherapy, as well as hospital rooms in terms of improving the patients’ well-being and greater effectiveness of mutual communication between the therapist and the patient. The final part of the publication contains a characterization of the importance of the arrangement of seats for the course of group psychotherapy. The author presents the advantages of holding such a type of meetings in a therapeutic circle – with chairs forming a circle and a small round a table in the center. The author suggests that such a seating layout allows to determine an informal structure of the therapeutic group, especially group roles taking shape in the second phase of the group dynamics development, namely “confrontation and exploration of differences”.
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